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Tea party for Golden Globes stars

Stars have gathered for afternoon tea in what has become a ritual ahead of the Golden Globes awards ceremony.

The Los Angeles branch of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts held its 18th annual Awards Season Tea Party, where an array of Golden Globe nominees sipped Earl Grey and nibbled on finger sandwiches and scones with jam and cream.

Michelle Williams, Viola Davis, Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron - all up for best actress - mingled with fellow filmmakers and nominees at the Four Seasons Hotel.

BAFTA/LA chairman Neil Stiles implored guests to raise their glasses and wish "the best of British luck" to the various nominees. Also toasting were The Artist stars Berenice Bejo and Jean Dujardin, Hugo stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Asa Butterfield and Chloe Grace Moretz, Ides of March star Evan Rachel Wood and Emily Watson of War Horse.

Supporting actor contender Kenneth Branagh (for My Week With Marilyn) said the BAFTA tea is part of the road to the Golden Globes.

"You enjoy every little bit of the journey that marks the way," he said. "There's a little ritual getting ready for the night.

"The day is one long preparation, so by the time you get inside that room, you can't help but be swept up with the adrenaline - not only for the involvement with your own movie if you're lucky enough to be nominated, but just everyone else.

"You see amazing people across a crowded room, and the sense of celebrating the good things the movie business does is what it's all about."

The 69th annual Golden Globe Awards will be presented at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

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